Revisionist

IMG_1754.JPGPart of the difficult portion of writing poetry is revising fragments of thought into a coherent whole.  My work arrives as tattered pieces which often clutter the page and are anything but a cohesive unit.  A recent poem got its roots from a broken tree which suffered major damage during a storm..

This tree an elm,

as if on tiptoe in a jazz improv

performs a dance leaning this way and that

in a fluid retching of

arms reaching skyward

aware of a gapping scar

poised in silent scream

an emotionless flail

unable to escape

the tangled masses of

broken bones

shredded at its feet — anchored

in the dance of unmoving feet

In revision, the words take on new meaning in a shuffle and reshuffle.  The tangled masses of bramble from the recent storm leads me to question how trees withstand their plight.  Their movement in the wind seems a logical outlet to express what they silently absorb.  The revising resulted in this:

Bramble of Branches
Elm tree on tiptoe
Performs a jazz improv.
In dance, leans this way,
Then that–
A fluid wrenching, arms
Reaching skyward
Expose a gapping scar
Posed in silent scream-
Emotionless flail–
Inescapably tangled
In masses of broken bones
Cracked at its feet–
Anchored in this dance,
Rooted, immovable feet.
Consideration of further word choices will be necessary as the stationary plight of the tree begs to be juxtaposed with the emotional inability to be moved. I also like the slight hint of moveable feast brought by mention of immovable feet.
What this poem really wants to say alludes me at the moment.  It’s saying something but I’m not sure what it is speaking.  I’ll let it gel for now and see what solidifies.  If you have suggestions, I would welcome them.

 

 

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About Taylor Collins

Taylor writes in fragments - journals incessantly – the sea a recurring theme. She blogs and works on three writing projects at the moment. She was selected to read a twitter poem, written during National Poetry month, for the “Tell Me More” NPR program in 2011. A day diary was selected for publication in Water Cooler Diaries published in 2008 (De Capo Press). She recently completed a small chapbook, a 12-part poem entitled Flame. Taylor receives “real” rejection letters now – a sure sign her work is being read. She paints and writes in her studio/gallery -- Parke Green Galleries located on the site where the US Constitution was first ratified. She spends time thinking when deep thoughts surface. Taylor leads a rather dry life on the ocean she's tossed about on. Be sure to visit her if you're ever in the state that started our nation. Cheers!

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